I accidentally discovered Oh Hiroshima maybe two years ago while I was looking for some new Post-Rock bands. I liked their second album In Silence We Yearn and recommended this album to some friends, since I thought that they could like this kind of Post-Rock and Shoegaze. The songs “Holding Rivers” and “Ellipse” got a safe spot on my playlist. As I heard that Oh Hiroshima will release a new album this summer, I was curious to hear it.
In the weeks before the release of Oscillation, the band released three songs as an appetizer for their fans. They did not actually impress me – yes – these songs are good Post-Rock singles, but it doesn’t sound like anything new if I take their last album into consideration. But I didn’t want to judge the book by its cover, some releases try to tell me a story in full album-length, so I was still curious about the upcoming album.
The band starts Oscillation with a slowly-paced and quiet intro, step by step a new instrument appears and completes the other instruments for the listener in “New”. You dive deeper and deeper into the song until the voice of Jakob Hemström finishes the setting. A nice and pleasant starting for this album. A piano and a smooth beat in the background are the beginning of the second song “A Handful of Dust”. Again, little by little, the instruments enter the song structure, a smooth transition into the main part of the song until it culminates in a nice final. “Simulacra” starts faster, after the last two songs you can think that Oh Hiroshima are in a hurry, but again they try to build up very tastefully, but with faster and more powerful drums. In the middle, tension is built up for a peak and after that they smoothly continue the song, very long – too long. The next song “Moderate Spectre” has the same problems, a good direct beginning, nice build up, instruments that seem to play against them and together, and it peters out again. The fifth song “Darkroom Aesthetics” sounds the same as the songs before, nothing new. “In Solar” is my highlight of the album, a very nice and emotional song that can change your mood immediately. And it’s the first time I get the feeling they try to tell me a story with their music and vocals, everything in this song is better connected. This song will get a place in my playlist. The end of the album sounds like a good last song for a Post-Rock Album. “Molnet” sets the tone for the ending, but the riffs are again very typical for this album and don’t have a unique touch.
Every single song gets time to evolve, to tell us something special, but it doesn’t succeed. Often the riffs and song parts seem to be the same as one or two songs ago. It doesn’t help that nearly every song has the same structure: slow beginning, build up to a peak point of the song, after that a long part which comes to nothing. I always get the feeling that, at some points, a more aggressive style would help the song to flourish its strength. In the end, nothing remains totally positive in my mind like their last album. Yes – “In Solar” is a highlight, but it doesn’t help the complete look on this album. It’s an average Post-Rock/Shoegaze Album. Oh Hiroshima know how to play, they know how they must sound, but they seem as if they want to be on the safe side. Fans of Post-Rock and Shoegaze can give this album a shot, but if you try to discover this genre, some other bands and albums will be better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
5 / 10
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist.